I love to quote myself. Especially when I'm talking about saving lives and $40 million for Salem, Oregon taxpayers.
Here's part of what I said in a recent Strange Up Salem column, "Save lives. Wear a purple sticker."
Give me a chance to explain why you should care about a local issue that, if left on its current course, really could lead to some nasty things happening.
Lots of taxpayer money wasted. Downtown riverfront area uglified. Many lives being lost.
I’m talking about the City of Salem’s $80 million plan to build a new police headquarters at the Civic Center, along with renovating City Hall and the Library.
With financing costs added, the total balloons to $128 million. Who pays? You do, if you live in Salem.
The good news is that Salem Community Vision (SCV), a group I’m involved with, has come up with a half-price alternative, $40 million, or $64 million including financing.
...The bad news? City of Salem officials, including Mayor Anna Peterson and City Manager Linda Norris, haven’t shown any sign of changing course.
...Currently the Library and City Hall aren’t earthquake safe. Likely they’ll“pancake” in the Big One that is a matter of when, not if, it hits Oregon.
Seismic upgrades are essential to save the lives of visitors and staff.
But Salem voters probably won’t approve a wasteful $80 million bond measure. A lean $40 million measure has a much better chance of passing: $20M for a new police facility, $20M for Civic Center renovations.
Unfortunately, today Salem City Manager Linda Norris released a staff report for the Monday, March 24 City Council meeting, 6:30 pm, that shows City officials are clueless about what is needed to make the Civic Center earthquake-safe, and give the Police Department a functional new headquarters.
Download Salem Police Facility staff report
Norris has ignored public testimony that shows how the project goals can be achieved for $40 million less.
This borders on governmental malpractice. Our local public "servants" (yeah, right) are so committed to a wasteful $80 million addition on Civic Center property, they are willing to run the risk of a bond measure failing.
Which means, no seismic upgrades or new police facility. First responders, city staff, and library visitors killed in the collapsed rubble when, not if, the Big One earthquake hits.
In an email I got today, Salem Community Vision explains how you can help stop this madness.
On Monday, March 24th, 2014 at 6:30 pm, Salem City Council currently plans to consider approving a new city police facility, and some seismic improvements to the civic center, that will cost you and other city taxpayers $ 80 million.
Salem Community Vision (SCV) is a group of concerned citizens working with professionals who believe we can cut the cost of this project in half and still accomplish the same goals. SCV supports a new police and municipal court facility as well as well as seismic upgrades to the Civic Center and Library.
Moving the police (and city court) away from the Civic Center could save tens of millions of dollars, put it in a more functional/safe location, and leave room for expansion...and allow for seismic upgrades to the Civic Center and Library for less -- saving even more by moving first-responder agencies from leased space to the Civic Center.
Polling shows that the current City proposal is in serious jeopardy of failure. However, SCV believes that if the bond is more affordable, it has a chance to pass.
On March 24th, the Salem City Council will receive a staff report and will decide either to modify the proposal, postpone it or move forward with the current plan, but add the Library seismic upgrades.
Please read the attached information for more specifics to see how we can save millions of dollars. Also, you can visit our website at SalemCommunityVision.com or the SCV Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Salem-Community-Vision/1463525883872668
TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE OUTCOME, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT ON MARCH 24TH AT 6:30 P.M. The more people who show up, the more the City Council will listen to the public.
SCV will have lapel stickers at the meeting that you can wear to show your support.
This is NOT a public hearing. BUT, citizens can speak during the first part of the meeting under Audience Comments for up to 3 minutes each. Even if you do not choose to speak, your presence will count!
AND, if you can't go to the meeting, you can e-mail your opinion to all city councilors at:
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Salem Community Vision web site